In Defense of Women with Tattoos

My friend Kelly over in the Facebook posted this and I read it and I had to write about it. Sometimes a writer needs something to warm the blood. And, even better, sometimes a writer needs something to make the blood boil.  The premise of this blog post by Lisa Khoury is that women are beautiful and that a women getting a tattoo is not “lady like.”  But I’ll let Lisa Khoury speak for herself.

Seriously, though. Your body literally has the ability to turn heads. Guys drool over us. We hold some serious power in our hands, because – as corny as this sounds – we hold the world’s beauty. But something girls seem to forget nowadays, or maybe have not been taught, is that women hold the world’s class and elegance in their hands, as well. So what’s more attractive than a girl with a nice body? I’ll tell you what: a girl with class. Looks may not last, but class does. And so do tattoos.

I agree, whole heartedly, that women are beautiful.  I have some issues with the idea that women have to be classy.  As if that means men can’t/don’t have to be.  But let’s let Lisa continue.

An elegant woman does not vandalize the temple she has been blessed with as her body. She appreciates it. She flaunts it. She’s not happy with it? She goes to the gym. She dresses it up in lavish, fun, trendy clothes, enjoying trips to the mall with her girlfriends. She accentuates her legs with high heels. She gets her nails done. She enjoys the finer things in life, all with the body she was blessed with.

Ugh. Where to start.  First, not every woman needs to go shopping. Not every woman needs to like to wear clothes or needs to enjoy getting “dolled” up.  Nor does every woman needs to like wearing high heels.  The idea is that identity works on a case-by-case basis.  Lumping all women into this bag of make-up, dresses, and tea parties causes you, at best, to be dated and, at worst, to be a horrible, one-sided monster.  But, wait.  She’s not finished.

Can you get meaning out of a tattoo? Arguably. If you want to insert ink into your skin as a symbol for something greater than yourself, then maybe you are proving a point to yourself or the rest of the world.But at the end of the day, are you really a happier person? Has this tattoo, for instance, caused you to learn something new about yourself? Has it challenged you? Has it led you to self-growth? Nothing comes out of getting a tattoo. You get a tattoo, and that’s it. You do something productive, though, and you see results. That’s a genuine, satisfying change in life. Not ink.

How can she say what gives meaning and what doesn’t?  In one paragraph, she says that a woman should go shopping and wear nice clothes.  In the next paragraph, she is downgrading a person with tattoos.  She is saying that, if you have tattoos, you have no idea of happiness, or causation, or even of self worth. And she still isn’t finished.

Invest your time, money, and effort into a gym membership, or yoga classes, or new clothes, or experimenting with different hairstyles if you’re craving something new with your body, not a tattoo.

So, to be clear, in this writer’s world, going to Yoga is worth your time and money.  Going to the gym is worth your time and money.  BUYING NEW CLOTHES IS WORTH YOUR TIME AND MONEY.  But, getting a tattoo?  Getting something on your body that you like? That maybe has meaning to you and no one else, that looks good to you and no one else, that is special to you and no one else? That’s stupid.

There are plenty of people with tattoos that I think are ugly. And I’m sure there are lots of people who hate my tattoos (Hey, Mom!).  But, hey, world. Tattoos are about the person getting the tattoo.  They have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the rest of the world.  They are a private space, view-able to the public. The next time some one asks me about my tattoos, I’m going to show them Lisa’s article.  The reason I have tattoos is because of people like her, and the fact that she will never, ever understand what getting a tattoo is really about.

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4 thoughts on “In Defense of Women with Tattoos

  1. I love this blog ! Totally disagree with Lisa on some points but I do get what she meant somehow even though i disagree with a lot of the shopping and high heels c**p.

  2. I rather resent this woman asking rhetorically if my tattoos have “caused [me] to learn something about [my]self” without knowing if she asked actual women with actual tattoos. I’m happy to have a talk with someone about mine and why I have them, but it’s a bit pointless if you’ve already decided you know exactly what I’m thinking.

  3. My biggest problem with her is that she can’t see past herself. She has no ability to understand, even slightly, the idea and perceptions of other people.

  4. “Can you get meaning out of a tattoo? Arguably. If you want to insert ink into your skin as a symbol for something greater than yourself, then maybe you are proving a point to yourself or the rest of the world.But at the end of the day, are you really a happier person? Has this tattoo, for instance, caused you to learn something new about yourself? Has it challenged you? Has it led you to self-growth? Nothing comes out of getting a tattoo. You get a tattoo, and that’s it. You do something productive, though, and you see results. That’s a genuine, satisfying change in life. Not ink.”

    I find this quite ignorant. Most people that get tattoos have a wonderful, meaningful story or experience that goes along with it. There is a bigger meaning to the artwork they display outwardly to the world. That meaning may remain private, or it may be shared- it’s up to the person.

    If this thought process is applied to music, then no music would have meaning since the musician hasn’t shared their private experiences with the world that is around them. Nor would art be expressive or significant.

    And yes, you may have learned something about yourself, simply you don’t like needles. Or that you would give up your life for your child. And a tattoo of that child’s birth footprint is a reminder to you of the day they were born and nearly died.

    As for self-growth, well if you refer to the above instance of a child’s footprint, then yes, you have grown as a person. Because you now cherish each day you share with loved ones.

    All this in a mere tattoo…..

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